This Saturdays live ITV racing sees meetings from Sandown, Wincanton and Chepstow. A few exciting contests which will be sure to catch your eye this Saturday, and ones outlined below which I would highly recommend watching.
The big one of the day see’s take two of the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow. The 14:05 Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Steeple Chase has been described as being “very hopeful” that the second attempt of the running will go ahead. The original meeting on the 27th December had to be called off due to a waterlogged course.
Joint market leader is a Nicky Henderson horse in Beware The Bear, currently priced at 8/1 with William Hill. An exciting talent who’s really showcased his worth with his first runout of the season at Newcastle on the 22nd December. However, consistency isn’t his strong point and whilst there is good value to be had at 8/1 my money is going on Wild West Wind who is also currently priced at 8/1 with William Hill. The heavy ground on the day will play into the hands of this horse, and with a better consistency record I see him prevailing as the winner on Saturday.
The other race to look out for on the day is the 2:25 at Sandown. An exciting contest between another Nicky Henderson runout in Claimantakinforgan (13/8 f) and Warren Greatrex’s Western Ryder (5/2). Western Ryder is a horse I have been following closely since his first race at Ffos Las back in May 2016. However, much like Beware The Bear you are usually unsure what Western Ryder will turn up on the day. Described as a “real fighter who loves a scrap” by trainer Warren Greatrex, Western Ryder has proved he is very capable on winning on heavy ground having done so at Chepstow in November.
So, an interesting contest to be had at Sandown on Saturday between these two and my money is going on Western Ryder to clinch this one (let’s just hope he can turn up on the day)!
Finally, let’s not forget about the big one at Wincanton. The 2:40 The Smarkets Handicap Steeple Chase has some interesting runners. On paper, it appears to be a showdown between Antartica De Thaix and Play The Ace. Both horses are coming into the race in decent form, especially Play The Ace who has won his previous 4 outings since 02nd November.
With the ground likely to be on the heavy side on Saturday, Play The Ace has proved himself at Aintree back on the 09th December on very similar ground. For me, this horse is the one to beat on the day. However, that is not without mentioning the capabilities Antartica De Thaix still possesses.
This 8yo certainly has the potential to cause an upset for Play The Ace with a better OR. Having shown his class at Bangor-on-Dee back in February 2017 having won by 49L and Wincanton in March 2017 by 22L we can expect a thrilling contest to prevail on the day.